WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Brandon Tunnell scored 20 points, including four free throws in the final 35 seconds, and Hampton secured its first NCAA tournament berth in five years with a 60-55 victory against Morgan State on Saturday in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference title game.
The second-seeded Pirates (24-8) overcame poor shooting with stifling defense to hold off the fourth-seeded Bears (17-14), who had won the last two MEAC titles.
Darrion Pellum added 12 points for Hampton, which held Morgan State scoreless for more than 8 1/2 minutes in the second half.
DeWayne Jackson had 25 points, including a 3-pointer with 25 seconds left to get Morgan State within 57-55. But Tunnell hit two free throws on the next possession before Jackson missed a long 3 to end coach Todd Bozeman’s hopes of another NCAA appearance.